Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is There Anything That Man Can't Do?

Even after ten years together, Bill continues to surprise me with the things he's able to do. I vividly remember the first time he took on a handyman task. It was after he'd moved down to Texas but before we got married.  One of the many aggravations he had to deal with every weekend as he tried to bring life to the dead dust bowl in my backyard was a broken faucet under the kitchen window. I can't remember what was wrong with it, but I seem to recall that he had to use pliers to turn it on. I heard him cuss for the first time on the evening that the pipe snapped.

"Don't worry. I can fix it," he assured me as I stood behind him, wringing my hands.

"Have you ever fixed a pipe before?" I asked, eyebrows raised.

"No, but I know I can figure it out."


"Hush, woman. I need to get a blow torch."

I followed on his heels as he gathered the blow torch and whatever tools he thought he'd need. When he knelt in front of the pipe and got ready to do some welding, I said in a tiny voice, "Are you sure you don't want me to call a plumber?"

Bill glowered at me. "I said I can fix it."

And he did. I think it took two tries because it was still seeping after his first attempt, but he did fix that pipe. Since then, I've never dared to suggest calling a professional for anything. No matter what it is, Bill can figure it out:
  • Laying tile? Piece of cake.
  • Hanging wallpaper border? Not a problem. 
  • Designing and hanging a tile backsplash? Easy. 
  • Faux finish? Fun! 

  • Fixing the icemaker? $28.00. 
  • Changing my alternator? A Sunday afternoon.
  • Removing wallpaper and texturing the kitchen walls? No, better call a professional....  The professional did a sloppy job, so when it came time to texture the bathroom, Bill bought a hopper from Home Depot and applied that texture impeccably. It looked better than the "professional" job at a fraction of the cost.
Each time I watch Bill research something on the Internet and then flawlessly carry out the instructions, I admire him just a little bit more. But when it comes to showing off his bigger home improvement tasks to family and friends, my pride really swells. There's the shed that he designed and built with his own hands....

...and the patio extension, complete with slate tiles and a cedar pergola.

It was fun watching Bill mark out the curves using a big string, kind of like a human protractor. He built the wooden forms and then, with a little help from family and friends (and a big cement truck that he hired), he poured that deck.

But That's Not All! 
Not only does Bill excel at manly tasks like fixing and building things, he is also quite talented at... well, things that you might consider more feminine. Like braiding Allyson's hair--better than I can. He hasn't learned the French braid yet, but I'm sure he will when he sets his mind to it.

And then there was the pie crust. Last December, he announced that he'd found a great apple pie recipe that he wanted to make for Christmas dinner. "Honey, have you ever made a pie crust?" I asked.

"No, but how hard can it be? Have you made one?"

"No, but I've heard it's really tricky," I replied.  "I don't think you can just whip out a pie crust. You have to keep working at it until you get it right. You'll probably mess it up the first few times."

"So I'll make a practice crust tonight," he said.

With that, he got together the flour, ice-cold butter, and ice water, and drug out the big KitchenAid mixer (my favorite Christmas gift ever). I stood by and smirked while he and Allyson measured out the flour and butter and pulsed it in the mixer bowl.

But I had to eat my words--along with a big hunk of pie--when I saw his pie. It was PERFECT!

He made another pie for our Christmas dinner, and it was so good that it even enticed my dad, who was still recovering from an esophagectomy and had very little appetite, to take a second piece.

So why am I telling you about all of this now? Because Bill just surprised me again. Allyson's bangs had been getting longer and longer and were starting to really annoy her. As I mentioned in my last post, we've just started on a new  budget, and I hated to pay $15 to take her for a haircut.

One of my friends suggested cutting her bangs myself, but I had visions of a zig-zaggy line such as I've seen on other children whose mothers take the scissors into their own hands. I told Bill that I wanted to cut her bangs, but that I was afraid. "You should cut them," I said. "You can do anything else you set your mind to, so why not cut bangs?"

I was sort of joking, but he said mildly, "Yeah, I probably could."

So the next night (this past Tuesday), he sprayed down her bangs, combed them out straight, and then pinched them between his thumb and forefinger. I stood by with trembling hands, offering compulsive, unsolicited advice. "Cut them longer than you want them. That way we can take her to the salon if they get messed up.... Hold the piece you've already cut as a guide.... Careful! Not too short!... Oh, there's a long piece."

Two minutes later, her bangs hung in a perfectly straight line just above her eyebrows. They looked at least as good as they did after her last haircut. See?

I couldn't get her to stop pushing her bangs to the side, a habit she developed because they were constantly in her eyes, but hopefully you can see what a great job Bill did.

Yep, it's official. There really isn't anything that man can't do. Maybe I can even convince him to sew me some pads! Nah, because he knows I would blog about it. But I bet he could!

1 comment:

Jara said...

I told my hubby about the pad situation, he was like, what????? I said, "nevermind, you wouldn't understand":) You and your hubby are so cute - I love reading about your lives and relationship;)! You crack me up!!! Curtis is a lot like how your husband seems to be! He usually accomplishes anything he sets his mind to!


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